Deep Breaths and Holiday Concerts

Me, solo usually translates to me, shrieking, but tonight Rob missed Sam’s holiday concert–which means me and Lily, Rory and Wyatt all bundled into our chairs for an hour and a half, collectively wondering “why they sing one more song? Why?” and “When is it time to go home?” as we watch K-8 each step up for their time on stage. Some of us just wonder it a little more audibly than others.

That, plus pizza, would usually be a recipe for disaster, and yet it wasn’t. I’ve said before that I’ve found new reservoirs of patience of late, and it still holds. Things are easier for me now. I think there are many reasons for that, but the biggest is simple”

I’m not hauling somebody else’s unhappy kid around all the time, wondering when she’ll go home. 

I know that not every adoptive parent feels that way, but plenty of us have talked about the way the first few weeks or months can feel like the incredible never-ending playdate. In our house, the person with the problem was never really Rory, it was me. I was angry, I was ugly, I refused to bond or adjust or open up. Better me than her, though, because I did get–mostly–past it. Really and truly mostly. I’m not sure I’m quite all the way there, but it’s become far easier for me to genuinely act like I’m there, if that makes any sense. Can she sit on my lap? Of course. Can she have a piece of cheese too? Absolutely. Can she run downstairs and get her blanket, even though everyone’s in bed and the lights are off? Yep, if she’ll come right back up—same as I’d say to any kid. She’s just my kid. I’m still looking at how I love my four, and why I love them, and what other emotions I have around all of this parenting stuff–but just because she’s made those things clearer isn’t really about her anymore. It never really was. It’s about me.

I’m also looking, as December draws to a close and January and renewal is at hand, at who I want to be, and why. Now that I have all these kids, who do I want to be for them? I have career opportunities at hand, and other chances as well, and a finite amount of time for everything–who do I want to be and how and when?

I have a lot to think about. Of course, I’m always thinking I’ll clear the decks and then get to it–but  the decks tend to stay pretty covered. One nice thing about Christmas is that it forces some clearing. Have to stop with the shopping and wrapping and prepping. Have to stop working–at least, outwardly working. And the time that’s gone into those things can feel like an open space for thinking in. That’s what I’m hoping, anyway.

3 Responses to “Deep Breaths and Holiday Concerts”

  1. Cindy says:

    Great post, KJ! I am sure it will inspire lots of Moms that silently struggle through the adjustment phase and let them know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

    Years ago I saw Maria Shriver on Oprah and she had this great thing on motherhood. She says its “24/7 on the front lines of humanity”. Then asks, “are you man enough for the job?”! LOL!

    Happy holidays to you & your brood! Cindy

  2. Lisen says:

    So HOW did you get to the place where you are now???? I still don’t offer my lap. (In fact I almost always refuse it.) And no, she cannot have ANOTHER cheese stick. You’re only a couple months ahead of us, so how did you get where you are?

  3. Misty says:

    Glad to hear things are getting better. I think you are right. Half the battle is OUR attitudes…not theirs. Hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas.